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Know what to do if you can't pay child support as ordered

When you are responsible for paying child support, you know that your child depends on the funds you send. This money can help to keep a roof over your child's head, food in his or her mouth and cover expenses for activities.

Unfortunately, you might find that you aren't able to keep up with these payments for a variety of reasons. If you find yourself in that situation, knowing about child support modifications might be beneficial.

One of the most important things you can do is to seek the modification right away. As soon as you know that your financial situation is changing, you can take action. For example, if you are notified of a layoff, seeking the modification when you get the notice might help you out.

When you aren't able to pay child support as ordered, you can face legal consequences. Your obligation to pay isn't relieved automatically if you lose your job or have a significant change in your circumstances. Instead, the obligation is only altered if you are granted a modification by the court. These modifications aren't retroactive beyond the date that you file, which is why taking action right away is imperative.

Another thing that you can do if you aren't able to pay child support is to try to reach an agreement with your child's other parent. If you and the other parent can come to an agreement, you can petition the court to make that agreement official.

No matter what option you choose, try to keep making payments as best as you can. This will help you to stay as caught up on payments as possible while you try to get things sorted out.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support Modification Tips," accessed Jan. 13, 2017

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